Governor Andrew Cuomo this week launched New York's first ever Council on Women and Girls.
He says it is in response to expectations that the Trump Administration will disband a similar council created under the Obama Administration which addresses equality gaps in public policy and programs.
New York's Council consist of two panels - the council itself, made up of state agency leaders and a steering committee comprised of non-government leaders representing academia, advocacy, business and nonprofit organizations.
Hilda Rosario Escher, president and CEO of the Ibero American Action League, is the only Rochester representative on the steering committee.
She says she is excited and honored to be appointed to the panel.
"I hope that it's not just the Rochester area and not just Latinas (I represent). I hope that it's basically the whole state in which I can make a difference in the lives of women and girls."
Rosario-Escher says she wants to ensure that the concerns and experiences of women and girls are taken into account in policy decisions regarding employment, education, health, and pay equity.
"Still, women don't get paid at the same level that males get paid. We stay in the same positions. Even when you are out at a meeting, basically you can see and sense the difference. I can tell you from my own perspective as the CEO of an agency."
Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, is another steering committee member. She said in a written statement, “At a time when the President and Congress have launched “an all-out war against women, it is critical that New York stand up and fight to protect their dignity, rights, and health.”
The first meeting of the steering committee is scheduled on September 20.